During Judges' Houses, Simon asked Samantha Lavery to remove her make-up before auditioning. And Twitter was seriously angry...
Simon Cowell left The X Factor viewers appalled when he make-up-shamed a contestant on Saturday night’s show.
The music mogul is known for his outspoken ways, but many felt that he had gone a step too far when he personally criticised 17-year-old Samantha Lavery’s make-up look during his Judges’ Houses segment at the weekend.
Joined by Emma Bunton and Mel B in Miami, Simon had a big task ahead of him when he was made to whittle his seven female acts down to three.
But when Sam turned up to audition in front of the three famous faces, Simon immediately drew attention to her beauty look.
‘I kind of wish we had met without what you think is your pop-star image’, he told Sam. ‘I think that with you we have had a bit of a mask put up. All I’m saying, Sam, is I want to peel away the mask.’
Asking the teenager to go and take off her make-up before returning again to sing for him, Simon then turned to Emma and Mel and asked if his remarks were ‘bad’.
‘Yes, girls should be allowed to experiment’, Emma retorted, before Mel B added: ‘It is bad… that’s what kids do.’
When Sam later returned with her new fresh-faced look, Simon told her she looked great, before explaining: ‘I didn’t say it to be mean. I actually said it because I hadn’t quite connected with you.’
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But whilst Sam herself appeared to take the whole thing extremely well, viewers on Twitter were shocked and angered by Cowell’s ‘degrading’ actions.
‘How can @SimonCowell tell a 17 year old girl to take her makeup off? If she wasn’t insecure before that, she will be now #xfactor’, slammed another.
‘Simon Cowell forcing a girl to take off her makeup so that she looks more ‘pretty’ makes me want to vomit #xfactor #patriarchy’, said a third.
There was a little controversy afterwards, however, because on The Xtra Factor they showed a previously unaired scene of Sam auditioning in the same outfit with her make-up ON, leading some to suggest that perhaps the whole thing was a stunt.
Hmm. We’ll leave that to you decide…